By Amy R. Babcock
Originally published in hvy.com on May 29, 2019
Everywhere you turn, every page you read, it’s everywhere. Someone being judged based solely on their outside appearance. Rights being eroded, fairness being ignored, and still there are cries for lives that matter. But do they?
All lives matter, except those of our children getting shot while in class. All lives matter, except for those of the poor. All lives matter, except for….
We see it all the time in the news. Someone calling the cops on others that are not “like them” because of something innocuous they are doing. Barbeques at the park, rapes that go unchecked, that young man or woman in their car getting stopped and then shot by a cop. If they’re white, it’s alright, because they’ll serve no time. But if they are of any other colour, forget it. Lucky to be alive. Lucky to not get shot.
Everyone, grab your gun and protect the rest, forget the one in the vest that ran the other way when it all went down. And yet, there were good people on both sides. You want freedom? But your country only sends us…. let’s not finish the quote. This is OUR land; this is OUR country. But is it really?
You have, on the one foot, holocaust deniers. The criers that say it never happened. But the survivors and the children of those that were there are warning us. They’ve seen it all before, but we are not listening. We turn a blind eye like we did all those decades ago. We are letting it happen again. And I can quote you history, show you the truth, but your eyes? What’s wrong with your eyes? How can they not see this has all happened before and it is happening again?
We are reliving the times of segregation; we are burning the witches.
The ones that DO see are called deniers of God’s law. And no one wants to openly deny the existence of God. To do so is such a cardinal sin…but what about the altar boys? Yes, let’s all listen to the church’s teachings of what is the righteous thing to do. Let’s all follow a book that allows for beating slaves and forcing women to marry their rapists after being bought like so much property. Let’s let THAT be our moral compass.
Today we see the unfair treatment being given to those that are not white, to those that are not male. And the system is so corrupt that there seems to be no end to the allowances these men, these white men, have in what they choose to get done. And the government that is supposed to be for, of, and BY the people is really run by corporations. This is not conspiracy, this is fact. You can see it in the PAC.
I sat and read and thought, “we’ve turned back to the days of racism so easily, like putting on an old pair of shoes. It took no time, no thought, it just happened when no one was watching.”
Puritans thumping their bibles, deciding what’s right and what’s wrong. And we just lay down and die and allow this change to come over the whole of the country, thinking it’s just a phase. Yeah, as if the country, the government were a belligerent child that will grow out of it. But we should have grown out of it already. Long ago. We are supposed to be better than this.
When a black family has to teach their children how to not get shot when stopped by a cop, when women are constantly victim shamed, when white men get off scot-free for rape and child molestation, when religion is used as an excuse to hate and discriminate, there is something fundamentally wrong with the world. Get another gun to protect yourself, because God knows no one else is going to protect you…. unless you are white.
I’m white, so why should I complain? But look, I feel privileged to have been raised here in El Paso, and I’ll tell you why. Where I live is such a diverse community of people. I’m not saying we don’t have problems, but I was raised to see people as people. Not as a colour. I was raised to judged based on actions, not on appearance. I went to Sunday school and got kicked out for questioning why, if God knows what’s in our hearts, did he make Abraham prove his faith by sacrificing his only son? Sure, he stopped it before the child died, but that just makes it all the more cruel. I got kicked out for questioning where Cain’s wife came from if there was only Adam and Eve and their two sons. They don’t like when you question. They want you subservient and silent. They want you to obey. They want you to ignore the evidence of your eye and mind.
I think what saddens me the most is the change I see here at home. I once wrote this pièce de résistance. An Op-Ed called White Girl in a Brown City. It talks of a community that came together to battle against the forces that be when faced with racism. But since its publishing, many things have changed. I can now see a divide in the people here. The hate is spreading almost as fast as the rhetoric that comes down from the administration. And it must be stopped. We must raise our voices and speak the truth at all costs. We must show the masses that the only true evil that exists is that of those that would have you hate based on race, based on gender, based on difference. Our differences are what makes humanity HUMAN.
More than two hundred years ago, this country was founded by revolting against tyranny. And now, we are becoming the tyrants. It sickens me. It saddens me. And something must be done before we go so far backward that we can no longer see what’s in front of us: a big wide future full of promise and hope.